A 154-year-old Winnetka house


On the morning of September 8, 1860, after the steamship Lady Elgin—bound for Milwaukee—was rammed and sunk, with the loss of about 300 lives, survivors of the wreck were carried to this Winnetka residence, which served as a temporary hospital. Last November, the house, which has other rich links to the village’s past, was sold for $6.5 million—or 60 percent of its original $10.75 million asking price—after 17 months on the market.

Situated on a winding semiprivate street, the 11-room house originally faced Lake Michigan when it was built in 1857 for Jared Gage, an early settler, whose family called the area Lakeside. Later the home belonged to the Scott family (of Carson Pirie Scott), who named it either Swainscott or Swanscott, according to Patti Van Cleave, the executive director of the Winnetka Historical Society.

The sellers, Deborah and Edgar Jannotta—he’s the chairman of the banking firm William Blair & Company—purchased the house in 1991 for an amount not on file with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Before they bought it, the home had been extensively restored, says Chris Downey, the Koenig & Strey real-estate agent who represented them. Edgar (also known as Ned) Jannotta did not respond to a request for comment; the buyers are not yet identified in public records.

Send tips about home sales to dennis@rodkin.com.


Photograph: Dennis Rodkin